Other journies

An artists' rendering of a person with female ...Image via Wikipedia

Writing of Andrej Pejic I am reminded of some recent ponderings on related subjects.

A little while ago I happened across pictures of very pretty Asian transvestites – she-males as they are known. Some are quite beautiful and there are few you would guess are actually male. I've seen pictures like this before in emails and so on and like most people have been fascinated for about 5 minutes before moving on.

On this occasion there were further pictures post-op and naked. I couldn't take my eyes off the pics. If it had been conventional porn it would have been merely salacious, but my fascination this time went far beyond the lewd.

In the first place I was fascinated by the surgical transformation from male to female genitals. It might seem different when in the same room and up close, but peering through a computer screen the surgically changed genitals of these trans-sexuals looked the real thing. I was gobsmacked, as impressed by the wizardry and surgical skill as much as by the fact that someone would actually choose to do that. There was absolutely no way of discerning that the woman in front of you had started life as a man. And in many cases the 'women' seemed more feminine than a lot of women you know.

This is where it got really interesting. I found myself in a strange grey area I had never ventured before. I know there are a lot of gradations between the masculine and the feminine, but my interest has always been mere curiosity. I knew what I liked and what I wanted and I was pretty definite that it was 100% female.

Asia gets thronged by westerners looking for cheap sex, and some of them have a thing for she-males. It's definitely not my cup of tea, but I can imagine the psychology behind that being quite complex. There's a person who looks, sounds and acts like a woman, and potentially a very attractive woman, who actually has a cock tucked away inside her panties. To me that would be a horrible surprise, but I can understand how exciting that might be for some.

While that's not something I would contemplate I ogled the naked bodies of these trans-sexuals as if they were the real thing. Fascinating or not they were – superficially at least – very attractive. I wondered what I would feel if I discovered the woman I was with was one.

It was an interesting, complex question. My first reaction as a rampant heterosexual was to dismiss it. It wouldn't happen. But what if you only found out after you had been with them (presuming it was not obvious)? I stopped to consider that. Would I be outraged? No, though I would be angry at being deceived. Would I feel less manly? I doubt it. Would I feel tainted? I don't know.

If I am to be absolutely open at this point I'll admit to some sexual curiosity. I'd be as fascinated to closely examine the changed plumbing as I would at the workings of a Swiss watch. And I wonder what the sex would be like – would it be different? Clearly this is not something black and white.

What it leads me to are questions of gender and attraction. Being the heterosexual I am the ideal for me has always been a feminine, preferably beautiful, woman. There's never been any variation on that, but when I consider men who become women I am forced to wonder why.

Do I love women because they have breasts and pussy and I don't? Or do I love them because they think and feel differently to what I do? The answer is probably both. It's in that difference to who I am that I find in the right person someone complementary to my self as a man. It's that cliche, two halves making the whole. That's the chemistry.

That's fine then. What of the post-op transgender then? That's a more complex question obviously, and a little confusing. If we presume that a person choosing to become a woman possesses common feminine traits – a fair presumption? – then potentially half of that equation is already met: they think and feel differently to me. By surgically completing the transition then theoretically the other half is similarly resolved: here is a person who looks like a woman, sounds like a woman, acts, thinks, feels like a woman, and so is…a woman? The only real difference is that a trans-sexual doesn't menstruate and can't have babies.

There's plenty there to rouse contention, argument and potentially abuse. I find myself in the face of all this wondering if in fact I could fall for a trans-sexual. Why not? I don't know because I've never been close enough to go beyond the hypothesis above. Dissecting a scenario objectively and rationally doesn't make it true, let alone real. There's much more to all of this, much more than I can know or understand.

But could I? I suspect not. Not through any prejudice of mine, at least I think not. Gender is permeable, there is no definitive black or white, no correct way to be regardless of what some will tell you.That isn't the issue.

We fall, I think, for individuals who inhabit a body whether it be male or female. The body counts – it is what we are drawn to, what our sex demands of us – but it is the person inside we ultimately love. That person is the combined outcome of all the things that have happened to them up to that point; we are the result of our own journey. In the end that's the reason I doubt I could be intimate with someone who didn't start life a woman – because the journey is different.

Sex, I have to admit, might be a different story.

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